A Journey - From Coconut Tree to Coconut Bowl
The humble coconut. Did you know that coconut is considered a fruit?
Much like a cherry or olive, the coconut has fruit that you can eat and a seed. The coconut comes from the coconut palm tree which can grow over 25 meters tall and grow in tropical regions. The coconut has become popular all over the world as it is harvested for its fruit, to make coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut oil and can be used to create products from the coconut shell.
After the coconut is harvested most of its purpose comes from within the fruit leaving the shell to be discarded as waste. In order to reduce the waste from the coconut and create a product which is safe and biodegradable coconut shells can be turned into useful items such as coconut bowls.
To make a coconut bowl the mature coconut shells must be cleaned and the fruit must be removed. Then the shells are cut in half to create a circle (bowl) shape before they are sanded to create a smooth finish. The bowls are polished with coconut oil to create their unique and final look.
Coconutsy coconut bowls are sourced from Bali and Vietnam, two destinations known for incredible fresh coconuts with plentiful harvests thanks to the tropical climate. In destinations such as Bali you can see the coconut being utilised in so many ways and the popularity of coconut bowls is evident in many cafes and restaurants.
In Bali the coconut palm is also used for its leaves in traditional ceremonies or as a natural plate when eating together. The people of Indonesia use the coconut in every stage of its life and the Balinese believe it is a symbol of life and fertility. Several products can be made from the coconut including charcoal but the milk or santan in Bahasa Indonesian is particularly special.
The coconut is used traditionally in Indonesian and Vietnamese cooking naturally creating many leftover coconut shells. In Balinese cuisine, coconut is used as an ingredient in meals such as traditional Rendang curry.
Rendang curry is commonly cooked with beef, though, due to many individuals choosing to go plant-based you can also find vegan or vegetarian versions of this coconut-based dish. Would you like to try out the vegan rendang curry and serve it in your beautiful coconut bowl?
Check out this fragrant and simple recipe which replaces the beef with jackfruit for you to try at home:
Vegan Rendang Curry:
- 500 grams of young jackfruit
- 500ml of coconut milk
- 1-2 stalks of lemongrass
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 2 kefir lime leaves
You will also need to make a spice paste however you can choose to use a vegan rendang curry paste from a jar.
- 8-10 red chilli’s
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 cm of fresh ginger
- 3-4 cm of fresh galangal
- 2 shallots
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Blend the ingredients of the spice paste together in a food processor.
To make the curry start by bringing the curry paste to a simmer and adding the coconut milk. Bring to the boil in the pot and add the lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric cooking until fragrant. Add the jackfruit to the coconut milk and allow to cook until the curry starts to thicken. Add sugar and salt.
Taste and continue to cook until you have the desired depth of flavour and the jackfruit is soft. It is common to cook the curry for over 1 hour to allow the flavours to combine. Serve over steamed rice in your coconut bowl and share this beautiful healthy rendang curry with friends and family.
Original recipe inspiration from My Kitchen Adventure Diary